Keepers of the Game and Crossing the Line bookend Canadian Sport Film Festival as Opening and Closing Night Films

Festival runs June 9 to 11, 2017
Public Tickets on sale May 10, 2017

TORONTO, ON (April 20, 2017) – The Canadian Sport Film Festival (CSFF) announced today the Opening and Closing Night films for the 9th edition of the Festival, taking place June 9 to 11, 2017 at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto.  This year’s CSFF will open with the Toronto Premiere of Judd Ehrlich’s Keepers of the Game, about an all-Native girls’ lacrosse team with more than a championship on the line; and will close with the Canadian Premiere of Crossing the Line by David Tryhorn, a documentary about the hurdles that an Olympic athlete must face to gain redemption in his sport.

“Much like sport, film has the power to break down cultural and social barriers, and this year’s Opening and Closing night films strive to do just that,” said Russell Field, CSFF Executive Director. “From a story about the unique challenges faced by a group of female aboriginal lacrosse players to a close look at the rise, fall, and redemption of one of the most respected Olympic hurdlers, these two films are only the beginning of what will be one of our best programming line-ups yet."

This year, in advance of the opening night, high school students are invited to attend a FREE screening of Crossing the Line at TIFF Bell Lightbox on June 9 at 10:30 a.m.

With a mission to provoke dialogue on the power of sport to inspire social change, CSFF features Canadian and International films that showcase the remarkable resilience of people in challenging circumstances who find hope through sport. Tickets go on sale starting May 10 at sportfilmfestival.ca.

Full festival lineup will be announced on May 9, 2017.
 

OPENING NIGHT
Friday, June 9, 2017, 6:30pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 3

Keepers of the Game
Director: Judd Ehrlich
Toronto Premiere, USA

Some of the earliest forms of lacrosse originated on Akwesasne Mohawk Territory but the game has historically been the preserve of men. Just off the reservation at Salmon River High in Fort Covington, NY an all-Native girls’ lacrosse team comes together, seeking to be the first Native women’s team to bring home a Section Championship. But the team faces ambivalence in their own community and the girls must prove that the game of lacrosse is their rightful inheritance. With more than just the championship on the line, the girls fight to blaze a new path for the next generation of Native women, while honouring their people’s tradition in a changing world.

CLOSING NIGHT
Sunday, June 11, 2017, 7:45pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 4

Crossing the Line
Director: David Tryhorn
Canadian Premiere, U.K.       

In 1984, an unknown teenager from South Central LA burst on to the global stage by winning an Olympic silver medal in the 400m hurdles. Three years later, Danny Harris became the first person in over a decade to beat the legendary Edwin Moses. Yet his failure to qualify for the 1988 Seoul Olympics led, Harris into a period of depression and addiction. Orphaned at 14, Olympic star at 18, crack cocaine addict at 22, and finished at 30, this is the dramatic story of Danny Harris’s rise, fall and eventual redemption.

About Canadian Sport Film Festival
The Canadian Sport Film Festival (CSFF) brings together the theatre of sport and the medium of film to tell unique, provocative and passionate human stories from around the world. CSFF also works to showcase international films and filmmakers not typically screened or widely available. In addition, CSFF educates, engages and entertains communities throughout Canada using powerful stories told on film through sport, many of which promote physical activity as a means to achieve long-lasting health benefits to both body and mind. For more information, visit www.sportfilmfestival.ca

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:
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For media enquiries contact:
Daniel French
Touchwood PR
[email protected]
416.593.0777

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Youth get in the game! Canadian Sport Film Festival teaches students about films through interactive workshops

TORONTO May 17, 2016 – The 8th annual Canadian Sport Film Festival (CSFF) is reaching out to young people across the Greater Toronto Area with events that allow youth to learn what it takes to make films. The festival takes place this long weekend from May 20-22 at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Before the festival on Friday, high school students from two Toronto schools are attending a screening of “Fighting for Peace.” They will hear from two Canadian athletes about what it takes to compete in the Olympics.

For the children’s workshop on Saturday, youth aged 8-12 have the chance to watch sport films that are targeted to young people and make their own stop-motion animation. The workshop will include an interactive panel featuring athletes and filmmakers. 

WHO:

High School Screening
●      Alexandra Orlando, Olympic Rhythmic Gymnast
●      Arthur Biyarslanov, Team Canada Boxer

Children’s Workshop
●      Chelsey Gotell, Paralympic Swimmer


WHERE:

TIFF Bell Lightbox
350 King St. West
Toronto, ON
M5V 3X5


WHEN:

 

High School Screening
●      Alexandra Orlando, Olympic Rhythmic Gymnast
●      Arthur Biyarslanov, Team Canada Boxer


TIFF Bell Lightbox
350 King St. West
Toronto, ON
M5V 3X5

 

 

Children’s Workshop
Saturday, May 21, 2016
10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Visit our website for information about our family screening event and program schedule

The Canadian Sport Film Festival gets set for the Rio Olympics with powerful three-day event

 

The 8th Annual Festival Features Compelling Stories About Toronto and Rio

TORONTO,  April 22, 2016 - From Rio to Toronto and around the world,the 8th annual Canadian Sport Film Festival (CSFF) gives audiences an even closer look at the sports they love, the teams they follow and the social issues that often surround them. Presented in partnership with returning sponsor, Toronto Pearson International Airport, the festival takes place on May 20-22 at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

"With billions of eyes on the Summer Olympics this year, and Toronto's recent experience as host city for the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, we know international sporting events generate a craving for healthy dialogue and discussion surrounding important social issues," said Russell Field, Executive Director. "Our film festival addresses that need as the majority of our films feature a sport that will be part of this summer's competition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil."

Every year, CSFF films feature the remarkable resilience of people in challenging circumstances who find hope through sport. Powerful stories are put on screen that highlight the ways in which sport, recreation, and play matter in the everyday lives of people and offer opportunities for social change. 

Of the 23 films presented this year, highlights include:

  • Fighting for Peace (Opening Night) - Two young boxers living in one of Rio's most violent and poorest slums are on a quest to become national champions. With one having lost a sister to addiction, and the other as sole provider for his mother and seven siblings, the film looks at what it takes to be a winner.
  • Sully's (Opening Night) - As one of Toronto's most legendary boxing gyms, Sully's served as a training home of Nicky Furlano, George Chuvalo and even Muhammad Ali. Viewers will learn more about the man behind the beloved boxing institution.
  • Eastern - Four students at a storied Toronto high school with a great basketball pedigree find themselves competing for the school's last chance at championship glory. With the school closing down, they are trying to write a memorable end to one of Canada's most historic sport programs. 
  • Ron Taylor: Dr. Baseball - The festival is celebrating the life of Ron Taylor. After winning World Series championships as a pitcher, he gave up baseball for a career in medicine. Find our how a life-changing tour of Vietnam led him to become the team physician for the Toronto Blue Jays. 
  • Zanzibar Soccer Dreams (Closing Night) - With all eyes on the Canadian national women's soccer team's pursuit of Olympic gold in Rio, meet a remarkable group of women who are fighting just for the right to play the game. Soccer players in Zanzibar have had to overcome religious, cultural and gender prejudices, and the world premiere of this film will be attended by both the film's director and star.
  • Boxing For Freedom (Closing Night) - Two sisters who are the best female boxers in Afghanistan aim to compete in London 2012 Olympics. But they must first overcome the challenge of being physically active women in a country that doesn't support it. 

As part of the festival, the Canadian Sport Film Festival reaches out to young people in the Greater Toronto Area. CSFF is hosting an interactive panel and engaging workshop for youth that will allow them to actively participate by making their own films. Former Olympic Gymnast Alexandra Orlando, and Olympic boxing hopeful Arthur Biyarslanov are scheduled to participate in the panel.

"As Canada's largest airport, Toronto Pearson is in the connections business. We know that sports have a unique ability to connect people, allowing them to overcome differences and build stronger communities," said Robyn Connelly, Director of Community Relations, Greater Toronto Airports Authority. "We're proud to partner with the Canadian Sport Film Festival again this year to help increase awareness of how sports can help our city to thrive."

Tickets will be on sale on Monday May 2, 2016. The full program and official festival trailer are available at www.sportfilmfestival.ca

About Canadian Sport Film Festival
The Canadian Sport Film Festival (CSFF) brings together the theatre of sport and the medium of film to tell unique, provocative and passionate human stories from around the world. CSFF also works to showcase international films and filmmakers not typically screened or widely available. In addition, CSFF educates, engages and entertains communities throughout Canada using powerful stories told on film through sport, many of which promote physical activity as a means to achieve long-lasting health benefits to both body and mind. For more information, visit www.sportfilmfestival.ca

About Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA)
The GTAA is the operator of Toronto Pearson International Airport, the largest airport in Canada and one of the largest in North America in terms of passenger and air cargo traffic. In 2015, more than 41 million passengers passed through the airport. By the mid-2030s it is estimated Toronto will serve 65 million per year. As a global hub airport, Toronto Pearson positively contributes to the area's economy by employing thousands, connecting travellers and goods, and attracting business from around the world.

Photos

Fighting for Peace (Opening Night)

"Fighting for Peace" tells the story of two young boxers living in one of Rio's most violent and poorest slums who are on a quest to become national champions. It will have its North American premiere at the opening night of the Canadian Sport Film Festival in Toronto on Friday, May 20.

Sully's

"Sully's" focuses on a legendary Toronto boxing gym, which served as the training home of Nicky Furlano, George Chuvalo and even Muhammad Ali. It will be featured at the Canadian Sport Film Festival in Toronto on Friday, May 20.

"Sully's" focuses on a legendary Toronto boxing gym, which served as the training home of Nicky Furlano, George Chuvalo and even Muhammad Ali. It will be featured at the Canadian Sport Film Festival in Toronto on Friday, May 20.

Eastern

"Eastern" looks at four students from a renowned Toronto high school with a great basketball program who find themselves competing for the school's last chance at championship glory. It will be featured at the Canadian Sport Film Festival in Toronto on Saturday, May 21.

"Eastern" looks at four students from a renowned Toronto high school with a great basketball program who find themselves competing for the school's last chance at championship glory. It will be featured at the Canadian Sport Film Festival in Toronto on Saturday, May 21.

Ron Taylor: Dr. Baseball

"Ron Taylor: Dr. Baseball" focuses on Ron Taylor who, after winning the World Series championship as a pitcher, gave up baseball for a career in medicine. It will have its Toronto premiere at the Canadian Sport Film Festival in Toronto on Sunday, May 22.

"Ron Taylor: Dr. Baseball" focuses on Ron Taylor who, after winning the World Series championship as a pitcher, gave up baseball for a career in medicine. It will have its Toronto premiere at the Canadian Sport Film Festival in Toronto on Sunday, May 22.

Zanzibar Soccer Dreams

"Zanzibar Soccer Dreams" tells the story of a remarkable group of women from Zanzibar who are fighting for the right to play soccer. It will have its World premiere at the closing night of the Canadian Sport Film Festival in Toronto on Sunday, May 22.

"Zanzibar Soccer Dreams" tells the story of a remarkable group of women from Zanzibar who are fighting for the right to play soccer. It will have its World premiere at the closing night of the Canadian Sport Film Festival in Toronto on Sunday, May 22.

Boxing for Freedom

"Boxing for Freedom" looks at two sisters from Afghanistan hoping to compete in the London 2012 Olympics in boxing despite the challenges they face at home. It will have its North American premiere at the Canadian Sport Film Festival in Toronto on Sunday, May 22.

"Boxing for Freedom" looks at two sisters from Afghanistan hoping to compete in the London 2012 Olympics in boxing despite the challenges they face at home. It will have its North American premiere at the Canadian Sport Film Festival in Toronto on Sunday, May 22.